Don’t worry guys, my Adventures in Baltimore post will come someday, it will, it will! (I pray I don’t forget everything by the time I write it.)
In any case, over the weekend I went up to Berkeley for some fun, incidentally celebrating part of my sister’s birthday with her. :)
Without further ado!
Here are some useful facts for future high school juniors/seniors to know:
1. Berkeley’s administration is decidedly unhelpful. Not only are they closed on weekends, they are closed on Fridays (to students) as well. Pah!
2. Berkeley has become much tamer than it was two decades ago. How do I know this, being not yet two decades old? THERE ARE STOP SIGNS THAT REMAIN UNMARKED. /shock!
(Most of them, you see, look like this--
and my personal favourite
hahaha! moving on...)
3. In terms of little eateries and restaurants and the like, Berkeley outnumbers Baltimore (at least, the area around JHU) by about 10x. I would even venture so far as to say 20x without, I think, straying too far off the mark.
4. The same applies to bookstores and little funny shops and the like.
5. A lot of these places tend to be more run-down, with a secondhand feel (but often v. cozy with v. good food or v. diverse selection of books or v. many interesting little trinkets etc), which I personally prefer because I've always been more of a hostel person than a hotel person, but others may not.
6. The student cooperatives, while undeniably filled with many party animals and druggies and smokers, also have quite a few perks.
> industrial kitchen (yessss)
> food/kitchen access 24/7
> freepiles ♥♥♥
> can draw on walls
> way nicer common spaces than dorms
> meet (debatably) more interesting people
> no pressure to drinking/drugs (as opposed to frats/sororities)
> democratic petitioning
> people who drink/smoke pot
> too much partying (at the large places)
> ...did I mention messy?
> I did say messy, didn't I?
> Now, I'm sure I mentioned messy somewhere up there...
> TOO MESSY GRRRR
To be fair, the mess is mostly in the large, 100+ people co-ops. The 50-70 people ones are medium messes, and the small 15-30ish people ones are actually rather neat and tidy.
(I mentioned this to my father, who decided I knew nothing of true messes and promptly chastened me by telling me a story about these college kids, back in the days of Taiwan U, who managed to catch a thief in the middle of the night. How?
The thief picked the lock and got into the room in the dead of night. Everyone was asleep. He took one step (in pitch darkness).
The thief took another step
and realized that the floor was drowning in empty beer bottles. Panicking, he began attempting a not-so-stealthy retreat
CLANKITY CLANK CLANK!
as the students in the dorm woke up
and jumped out of their beds to try and catch the thief
CLANKITY CLINKTY CLANKITY CLINK CLONK CLANK CLANK CLANK THUMP
the thief tripped and fell, mired in beer bottles
was immediately jumped by two students
and thus caught.
My mother overheard this story at the dinner table, and said to me, "Boys
Aaanyway, a few more!
7. There is such a phenomenon at U.C. Berkeley which I term The Saratoga Bubble, i.e. kids from Saratoga hang out with other kids from Saratoga, and, while they do make other friends, never quite step out of the bubble that is Saratoga. This I wouldn't worry much about, as U.C. Berkeley has a rich enough environment that it likely takes more of an effort to remain in the bubble than to step out of it. All depends, I suppose.
8. The Japanese & Thai food at Berkeley is better than the Korean/Chinese/other Asian food.
9. The North Berkeley BART Station is actually more like the West Berkeley BART Station when compared relatively to the (downtown) Berkeley BART station. Just so you know.
And now for some really random insights/observations--
10. Chickens are really dumb. I mean, I always kind of knew that (have you ever heard of a smart chicken?), but seeing their idiocy IRL is really something else. They're almost worse than fish.
11. Berkeley has a frisbee team~
12. Marijuana is surprisingly easy to grow (I guess that's why it's called "weed").
13. Rubiks Cube ("Cubing") Competitions are almost entirely male.
14. Hazelnut ice cream is very very delicious.
15. If you don't know what "flannel seed" is, a pansexual white freak will consider you a freak of nature. Considering the nature of the one making this statement, what does that actually make you?
16. Most Asian children from Saratoga do not know what "flannel seed" is.
17. Flighty boys slowly change the girls around them into flighty girls.
18. Maybe the reason Koreans are so good at Starcraft is because they DON'T create Starcraft classes and DON'T analyze Starcraft with differential equations and just, you know, play. o___o !!!
19. I really don't keep track of my senior class that well.
aaaaaaaaand 20. My Taiwan boy has a girlfriend~ ♥ Stephy have they told you yet? (Don't tell your mom!)
What cuties. ^^
And so I conclude for the day (or more accurately, the weekend). Hasta la vista, baby!